Police detain key fugitive in case of 12 missing

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The main owner of an after-hours bar who is a key suspect in the abduction of 12 young people a month ago was detained Friday on drug charges, federal prosecutors said.

The Attorney General’s office said in a statement that Ernesto Espinosa Lobo was detained in Mexico City’s southern borough of Coyoacan along with seven other people. All were carrying several doses of drugs.

Espinosa Lobo was turned over to city prosecutors for questioning in the case of the 12 missing people, they said.

Authorities have detained another six suspects in the case, including several employees of the bar.

The group was abducted May 26 from an after-hours bar owned by Espinosa Lobo in the Zona Rosa business and entertainment district.

Mexico City Attorney General Rodolfo Rios recently said that Espinosa Lobo was a key suspect in the case.

Surveillance tape shows men herding the young people, a few of them at a time, into compact cars. They haven’t been heard from since.

Prosecutors say the abductions are linked to a dispute between two rival drug gangs in the rough Tepito neighborhood. It is one of the city’s most dangerous areas and home to most of the abducted.

But the families of the disappeared say they suspect a criminal group from outside their community is behind the kidnappings because they say they have never seen any of the suspects detained in the case.

The families’ lawyer, Ricardo Martinez, said Friday he has filed a complaint with federal prosecutors because city officials have done little to advance the investigation.

Relatives of the 12 young people say Mexico City authorities took more than three days to start an investigation into the abductions.

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